New zombie code in effect by December

Summary:The Federal Government, alongside the Internet Industry Association (IIA), yesterday launched a code of practice that aims to reduce the amount of zombie-infected computers on the internet.

The Federal Government, alongside the Internet Industry Association (IIA), yesterday launched a code of practice that aims to reduce the amount of zombie-infected computers on the internet.

Zombie-infected computers are PCs connected to the internet that are infected with malware.


A video on YouTube created by security company Symantec explaining zombies.

Drafted in September 2009, the IIA released the code of practice to internet service providers (ISPs), outlining ways they could protect and inform their users about being infected with malware. One suggestion within the code is to put users into a "walled garden" if their computer becomes infected, which limits internet access to prevent further security problems until the PC is quarantined. Another option is to throttle infected users' speed down.

Earlier this year, Coroneos said the new code would not "raise the bar" on the old scheme administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, saying that its formation was only to ensure that what was already in place was made formal.

The code will remain voluntary for ISPs to adopt.

Asked today what internet users could do if they didn't want to act on protecting themselves if they were quarantined and put into a walled garden, Coroneos said that the time had come for internet users to be responsible for their actions online.

"I'm sure there are people around that resent having to put new tyres on their car when they're unroadworthy, or have their breaks done," Coroneos said. "But the reality is that we have argued that internet users have a responsibility not only to themselves, but also to other users on the internet."

Having your computer fixed was "no different" than when your washing machine broke down, according to Coroneos. "You've got to call someone in to fix it," he said. "You don't like paying the money, unless you can do it yourself, and many users will be able to do this themselves."

The code is to be implemented by ISPs before December.

Topics: Security, Hardware, Telcos

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